In line with the 2014 National Curriculum we aim to ensure that all pupils:
- know and understand the history of the UK as a coherent, chronological narrative.
- know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world
- gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’ and ‘civilisation’
- understand historical concepts, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends and frame historically valid questions
- understand the methods of historical enquiry
- gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts
History is taught through a topic approach. Each year group can expect to focus on different historical aspects throughout the academic year. We aim to develop the children’s historical understanding through the use of primary and secondary sources, in order to foster research skills and an empathy with the past.
Here at St Mary's, we are very fortunate to be located in an area that is rich with historical events and we strive to celebrate such history. Pupils can therefore expect to learn about local history such as the 'Windrush,' the role of the Docks during World War II and the Roman settlements in the local area.
Topics are informed by the national curriculum and are sensitive to children’s interests, as well as the context of the local area. The history curriculum at St Mary’s is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy.
We encourage the children to develop their historical skills and knowledge as they develop an appreciation and understanding of history being “who we are and why we are the way we are.” David McCullough.
Here at St Mary’s, our children are encouraged to draw upon prior learning and build upon this. This will be scaffolded to support children to recall previous learning and make connections. Teachers are encourage to model explicitly the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to allow the children to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in history, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. History is taught as part of a half-termly topic, focusing on key knowledge and skills. Teachers plan exciting, creative lessons and are encourage to incorporate a variety of sources of evidence, such as visits and visitors (Prior to COVID -19), artefacts, books and the internet.
The impact of this is to ensure that children at St Mary’s are equipped with historical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world. By the end of the children’s primary education, we aim for the children to have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. They should be able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives.
History is typically recorded in pupils 'Creative Curriculum' books and should typically reflect examples of all four strands (chronological awareness, knowledge and understanding, historical concepts and organise, evaluate and communicate information). Some of the evidence will involve photographic evidence or teacher’s notes where the activity has been one of discussion or drama. Pupils will also be encouraged to follow a picture with some independent (where possible) writing, which will explain what they covered that lesson and what they had learnt. St Mary's encourage pupils to transfers their skills and therefore, it can also be the case that 'History work' is also being covering in other subjects and therefore children's work may be found in other work books.
Teachers assess children’s knowledge, understanding and skills in History by making observations within class and by analysis of their written evidence. As part of our assessment for learning process (and in line with our school’s marking policy), children can expect to receive either verbal and written feedback as a means of development. While assessing the children's work, teachers are expected to refer back to the assessment grid provided by the subject leader.